You have to see good pictures to take a good picture. You have to see good art to be able to recognize and create good art. You have to read good books to write good books. You have to see good people know how to be a good person.

Explore as much as you create. Experience as much as you inspire. And surround yourself with people who inspire you.

I think we all get so caught up in work, school, or just everyday responsibilities that we tend to feel guilty when we take some time out for ourselves and relax or do something we enjoy.

I'm guilty of it too. Anytime I watch TV, go for a bike ride or bigger yet, a vacation, I feel selfish and find it hard to fully relax.

My boyfriend and I took a road trip to California last week, all the way from Indiana. I felt bad calling off work and missing a few Odyssey articles, but this trip taught me something.

To excel at your job, writing and passions, you have to explore. Take your mind away from the stress, hustle, and to-do lists. It is so easy to get caught up in the routine where you forget to live and have fun.

People shouldn't feel guilty about having fun and trying new things. Experiences and traveling and taking risks to shape us all into better people all around.

If you are an artist, writer or photographer, you have to check out new places, learn about different cultures, and meet new people so that you can put that into your work. This world can inspire you if you give it the chance.

Can't think of anything to paint? Put the brush down and get out there.

Writer's block? Close the laptop and live.

It's experiencing that make us who we are. Put those emotions and memories in your work.

To be a good person, you have to meet good people, and surround yourself with people who you aspire to be like. There are so many organizations, groups, and individuals working their asses off to help animals, people, and the environment, but you would never know that if you stay where you feel comfortable.

It's okay to let go and focus on yourself. Go out and see beautiful places and meet people different from you. One thing is for sure, you won't return home the person you were before.

"The world is a vast place but the soul is infinite."